How to Safely and Easily Digitize Your Family’s Photos and History

Traditional album and photo book
The traditional album, top, is digitized into a photo book, bottom.

How many traditional or scrapbook photo albums do you have around your house, the ones with printed pictures neatly arranged showing relatives, vacations, and birthdays from years past?

In the early years when I helped my mother and grandmother, we ended up with 60 traditionally made albums between us. We journaled in them and told the stories of the photos, but looking back I see what the drawbacks were.

Young mother with children, her mother and grandmother
Me with my grandmother Albine, my mother Dorothy, and my children Samantha and Troy

 

The albums were heavy, and as my mother got older, she had trouble carrying them. Casually sharing them was difficult because they were so large. But the major concern that families face is this: if the album gets lost or destroyed then the pictures are gone.

Keep reading to discover our solution to this problem.

Challenged to Try Digital

In the early 2000s, I was still using a film camera and showing my clients the benefits of organizing photos in traditional albums—my business name then was a perfect fit: Photo Solutions with Melody.

Woman posing with photo albums
Working with my mother in the late 90s

My reliance on print and traditional albums changed when my husband Gerald and I scheduled a Hawaiian vacation and a client challenged me to purchase a digital camera and leave my film camera home.

I did and loved it, but in the following years I saw how the transition to digital presented a series of problems needing solutions:

  • organizing now thousands of photos stored on camera SD cards and phones
  • finding a long-term storage solution for them
  • and letting friends and family enjoy them

 

Turning from Film to Digital

I made sure my business adapted with changing technologies, and I purchased a scanner to get my traditional albums and clients’ into a digital format. The equipment helped, but I couldn’t keep up with the demands from my customers. And I had my own albums. Imagine, scanning several dozen photo albums.

Long-term storage was a challenge. External hard drives were useful and so were thumb drives, but what would happen in the next few decades as they became obsolete? They are only a temporary solution.

Social media sites let users upload photos easily, but their Terms of Service means personal data is used for purposes of marketing and advertising and it’s easy to have an account shut down for any number of reasons. We lacked control. Many sites gain the digital rights to your images/files that you store with them.

In 2015, I found the solution I had been looking for through FOREVER, a company offering Permanent Storage that you own for your lifetime plus 100 years guaranteed.

Converting our family’s many albums to digital was convenient using FOREVER’s Digitization Services for hard copy albums, videos tapes, slides, older home movies, film reels, and printed photos.

Photo albums and photo book
Traditional photo albums are thick compared to a slim photo book, on top, containing all the same photos.

It’s easy to create a virtual album in FOREVER, set privacy levels for sharing, and print photo books and other photo projects for family and friends. FOREVER is a one-stop Memory-Keeping Solution System.

Once I added FOREVER product and services to my business, I discovered my tagline “Safeguard Your Memories” was a better name for my business. So, I changed my business name to Safeguard Your Memories®, a division of Photo Solutions with Melody, LLC. I continued offering my clients the timeless principle of journaling photos and choosing which ones to keep and delete.

 

Offering Permanent, Safe Storage

In partnership with FOREVER, I could truly offer a storage system where photos and other digital formats can be stored for more than a century.

Adult daughter with her senior mother
Me (Melody) and mom today

How? FOREVER is a forward-looking company where users can try out FOREVER with a Free 2GB account and offer paid storage ownership options. When you buy FOREVER® Storage, a large portion of your payment is deposited into the FOREVER® Guarantee Fund. The money is invested so that it increases in value and pays for the recurring maintenance and preservation costs of your FOREVER® Storage, as well as the migration of your content to new digital formats, over time.

I’m passionate that families preserve and safeguard their most meaningful memories (photos, videos, audios, documents) before they get lost or time erodes our ability to pass memories along to children, grandchildren, and their children.

Your story is worth preserving. Build your family history, store it permanently, and share online and through printed photo books.

We’re at a time when there are still plenty of hard copy printed photos, video tapes, slides and older media to digitize for the next couple of decades. More photo coaches are needed in this time of opportunity.

 

I’m Here to Help

Melody Whitehead
Melody Whitehead, Safeguard Your Memories

 

Contact me if you want to know more about making online albums work for you and ask me about trying a free account.

If becoming a photo coach interests you or anyone you know then I’ll be glad to share my experience as a mentor based on my 27 years of experience.

I’m grateful and blessed with the many clients who have become friends and the wonderful photo coaches who I’ve mentored over the years.

Explore writing your family story. Check my Events page to join a fun and supportive group online to journal your memories so you can pass along your family’s history to future generations.

Read about my very first years as a photo coach in this post:

See How I Started My Photo Coaching Career

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Safeguard Your Memories

At Safeguard Your Memories, we go beyond mere photo storage. We empower you through personalized photo coaching, guiding you through the process of photo digitization, organization, and creative printing solutions.

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